Real Betis got the better of Barcelona 2-0 at home in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie.
Jules Kounde put Betis in the lead in the 25 minutes when he ran from his own penalty area, beat four Barcelona players, and fired past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Ivan Rakitic, who joined Betis in the summer of 2020 after leaving La Liga rivals Barcelona, made it 2-0 to Manuel Pellegrini’s side at Estadio Benito Villamarin in the 85th minute.
The second leg of the tie will be played at Camp Nou March 3, and Betis will head into that game as favourites, and are now rated at 6/5 by Betfair to win the competition.
This is what we learned from the Copa del Rey game between Betis and Barcelona on Wednesday evening:
Samuel Umtiti is not Barcelona class
Samuel Umtiti has had injury problems during his time at Barcelona, and that is one big reason why the France international central defender has not been a success at Camp Nou. The other big reason is that the 27-year-old is simply not good enough to play for the Blaugrana and has not really progressed since he left Lyon in 2016. Against Real Betis on Wednesday evening, the Frenchman made two errors, and both led to goals. Jules Kounde dribbled straight past the 27-year-old in the first half before scoring the opening goal for Sevilla, and in the second half he kept Ivan Rakitic onside for the midfielder’s goal.
Real Betis are favourites
It was only the first leg of the tie, but a 2-0 win means that Real Betis are the clear favourites to progress to the final of the Copa del Rey. The Andalusian club are doing well in La Liga at the moment, and the chance to win the cup competition will be massive motivation to the players. True, Barcelona do have the players and the quality to stage a comeback in the second leg, but it is unlikely.
Lionel Messi cannot do it all on his own
Lionel Messi started against Betis, but the Argentina international could not breach the Betis citadel. The 33-year-old had a late chance for the visiting team, but he was denied by the home side’s goalkeeper. Messi is still doing his best and trying to make things happen, but it is clear that he needs more support and simply cannot carry this Barcelona team on his own like he has done before.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!